Accra, Dec. 24, GNA - Areeba, the leading mobile phone network in Ghana, on Saturday said it spent close to five billion cedis on sponsorship of various sporting activities in the country in 2005. Mr. Thomas Sowah, Head of Public Relation of Areeba, told the Ghana News Agency that the company chose to sponsor sports heavily, especially soccer as part of its corporate social responsibility.
He said in that year Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak, the nation's top football clubs received 1.5 billion cedis each in sponsorship from Areeba while FC Nania, Abedi Pele's football club also received 250 million cedis.
"Additionally we gave 500 million cedis to the Ghana Tennis Association (GTA) for the development of the game of tennis, 400 million cedis into hockey and 300 million cedis into handball," he said. Mr. Sowah said beside the heavy sponsorship in sports by Areeba, the company made relatively minor donations within the year to various sporting activities.
To maintained a culture of striving to be the best corporate citizen, Areeba also spent heavily on entertainment and other forms of sponsorship, adding that the company's shareholders would not want the specific amounts spent on those other areas be made public. Mr Sowah assured the beneficiaries of Areeba sponsorship packages that in the coming year the company would seek to improve upon its achievements on all fronts.
Earlier in the week, Mr. Ahmed Farouk, Chief Executive of Areeba, announced a sponsorship package for at least 200 Areeba subscribers to go to Germany 2006 and support the Black Stars.
He said the package would include free air tickets, tickets to all of Ghana's first three group matches against Italy, USA and the Czech Republic, hotel accommodation, free transport from the airport to hotel and from hotel to the matches and back and 200 euros spending money. "We have made all the necessary arrangement already, all our subscribers need to do is to recharge their units and stand the chance of winning a ticket to join the Black Stars to Germany in June 2006," he said.
Mr. Farouk made the announcement at the Areeba annual interaction with journalists.
He said the package was limited to the first three group matches because those were the only matches for which tickets could be obtained as of now, and that should Ghana qualify for the second stage of the tournament, Areeba would make arrangements to get tickets for the winners of the promotion in Germany.
Mr Farouk said winners would have to obtain their own visas in order to enter Germany, adding that visa acquisition for Germany 2006 was in the jurisdiction of the German Embassy, Ghana Football Association and FIFA.
"But the package is transferable so if you win and you are not able to obtain a visa, you can sell it to another person who has a visa and is interested in going to Germany," he said.
The competition opens in January 2006, he added.
Meanwhile, subscribers of Areeba continued to receive 50 percent additional units on any recharge card bought. Call rates had also been reduced from 1,500 cedis per minute during peak hours to 1,200 cedis and from 1,000 cedis at non-peak hours to 800 cedis.
The rates went further down to 400 cedis per minute for calls made to "Family and Friends", a discounted facility offered by Areeba. Mr Farouk said Areeba was poised to surprise its customers and the general public with even bigger promotions and better service, "which we think our loyal customer deserve."